Apple's new smart speaker, HomePod, is available to pre-order tomorrow (Saturday 27th of January 2018) for $499 but where do I get one and what does it do?
The Apple HomePod wireless smart speaker is only 18cms tall but delivers a powerful audio experience. Unlike speakers from competitors Apple has focused most of it's attention to the speaker aspect rather than the smart assistant. To setup simply hold an iPhone next to HomePod and it’s ready to start playing music in seconds. The Siri waveform appears on the top to indicate when Siri is engaged, and integrated touch controls also allow easy navigation.
Where do I get one?
It arrives on Feb 9th and comes in white and space grey. If you want to pre-order early we recommend using the Apple Store app or if you are happy to wait the smart wireless speaker will be available at Apple Stores, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, The Good Guys, Myer and Telstra.
Advanced Audio Speaker
HomePod uses Apple's expertise in software for real-time acoustic modelling, audio beam-forming, echo cancellation and more. It's senses know where it is in the room and adjust to provide the best sound experience.
It has a large woofer for deep, clean bass and a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with directional control. Apple Music is of course designed to be the perfect companion for HomePod but of course other sources from your Mac, iPhone or iPad also work great.
Siri as your Home Assistant
HomePod comes with an array of six microphones so it can hear “Hey Siri” from across the room, even with music is playing.
You can send messages, set timers and reminders, check the weather and listen to shows on Apple Podcasts. The latest business news, headlines and sports updates stream directly to HomePod from ABC, SBS, Seven and FOX Sports. HomePod can also be used as a speakerphone with iPhone for crisp and clear audio quality or to read messages to you as they arrive.
With support for HomeKit, Apple's smart speaker can control home accessories or set scenes like, “Hey Siri, I’m home,” to turn on the lights and start the aircon.
The screen on the top has touch controls so you don't have to talk an inanimate object every time.
- Tap: Play/Pause
- Double-tap: Next track
- Triple-tap: Previous track
- Tap or hold plus: Volume up
- Tap or hold minus: Volume down
- Touch and hold: Summon Siri
Focus on Privacy
Unlike it's major competitors anything heard by the device is encrypted and anonymous. It also only starts listening after a "Hey Siri" command. When the person who set it up isn't home it also won't read out the messages and reminders.
Super Power Efficient
When not in use, it draws an average of 1.76W. Equally impressive is the 9.25W of power it consumes when playing music. That’s less than a standard LED light bulb, which typically draws around 9.5W. HomePod outperforms the stringent requirements of the ENERGY STAR Program Requirements for Audio/Video Version 3.0, consuming 50 percent less than the allowable energy for low power mode
More Features Coming Soon
Apple is already working on new features with a free software update. AirPlay 2 will allow you to play music throughout you home on multiple devices, perfectly in sync. Multiple HomePods in the same room will be able to provide an immersive stereo sound experience. More Siri smart speaker features will of course be added over time.